The Pearl of Great Price

When we seek the pleasures in this world, we’ll never be satisfied. There is one pearl of great price. Nothing we give up in the service of God will be missed because it all pales in comparison! There is one master, everything else is a task-master (slave driver). God came to free us, not strap us down. Anything that becomes more valuable than our relationship with God will become an idol, a slave-driver, a binding cord.

God is extending a great offer to you today! Sell whatever you have to in order to buy this great pearl. If you haven’t been saved and bought the pearl, buy it! If you’ve been saved but have lost your first love, clean out the stuff in your life that has cluttered the space and buried the pearl!

Scriptures Used: Matthew 13:45-46, 9:35-38, 13:1-9; Isaiah 61


The Pearl of Great Price

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:45-46‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9:35-38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

Jesus had immense compassion for the people - like sheep without a shepherd, they were lost and hopeless. He cared for the condition of their hearts and he wanted to bring the Spirit of God to them.

Hell doesn’t have to be a problem - the good news that there is a way to avoid it is out there. So long as we stand there and warn people about it, no one needs to go there.

There are 5 major discourses that Jesus spoke while on earth. The following is one of them, told in the form of a parable. He intentionally chose the Sea of Galilee to give this message because it made a natural amphitheater. From a boat, He taught, letting the hills behind the crowd reflect the sound - this was an important message He wanted heard. We have a natural, earth-bound understanding of things and Jesus wants to reveal what the kingdom of Heaven is like, a spiritual understanding.

“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:1-9‬ ‭NKJV

This crowd reflected this message - Jesus had many disciples out in the crowd beyond even just the 12. There were others there, too, really showing up to see if Jesus could fix their problems. They needed a temporary fix and then they’d move on, back to their ordinary life. Others may have been there to be fed a meal.

Hopefully, we all receive the message of Jesus into the depth of our heart and let the seed take root and change our lives. Jesus promised to “utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:35) Do we know how good we’ve got it? The great mystery of the world, the great mystery of all time, has been made known to us - Jesus is the Son of God, come to earth to show us the heart of God and redeem us from our sins!

There are many parables in Matthew 13 - the wheat and tares, the mustard seed, etc. One of them is the hidden treasure - Jesus said that the kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The man knows a treasure is in the property, so he sells everything he owns to buy the field that contains the treasure - nothing he owned was so valuable as the treasure he had found.

God wants us to sell out! He wants us to throw down everything - our money, our fame, our popularity, and exchange it for a great treasure, far more valuable than anything we could hope to obtain.

Look back to the first verse quoted in this sermon - the kingdom of Heaven is like a man who found a good pearl and sold everything he owned so he could buy it. When the Christian church first started, people literally did this - they sold everything, quit their jobs, and joined the disciples, bringing their money to pool into the group effort. We don’t do this any more, but at the time, this was how the church was functioning.

Then, there’s the story of Ananias and Sapphira, some of those who Jesus spoke about in the parable of the sower. Their hearts were shallow soil - the message took root, but not deeply. They held out something. They said that they had sold everything and were turning it all over to God, but they hadn’t. They wanted the recognition for cashing out everything, but they hadn’t really done that and their motivation was wrong. These two dropped dead at the moment they committed to the lie they told…

We won’t necessarily drop dead when we hold out on God, but we can’t be alive for God while we’re holding back on Him! Are we going to hold out or be sold out? Jesus is calling us to be like the man who sold everything to buy the land or the pearl. That doesn’t literally mean we have to sell all our possessions and give them to the church, but we do need to sell out and commit to Him. Maybe it's a ministry you’re being called into that you can’t commit to… There are a lot of beautiful pearls out there, lots of cool things to do and even worthy causes to commit to, but there is one pearl of great value worth sacrificing everything else to obtain.

When we seek the pleasures in this world, we’ll never be satisfied. There is one pearl of great price. Nothing we give up in the service of God will be missed because it all pales in comparison! There is one master, everything else is a task-master (slave driver). God came to free us, not strap us down. Anything that becomes more valuable than our relationship with God will become an idol, a slave-driver, a binding cord.

God is extending a great offer to you today! Sell whatever you have to in order to buy this great pearl. If you haven’t been saved and bought the pearl, buy it! If you’ve been saved but have lost your first love, clean out the stuff in your life that has cluttered the space and buried the pearl!